Smuggling could hinder India’s march to $40 trillion economy under Amrit Kaal: Report

Over 10 years, the tax loss to the government because of illicit trade has jumped by 163% to reach a mammoth 58,521 crore for 5 key industries

Saurav Anand
First Published10 Feb 2023, 05:28 PM IST
Smuggling has been termed the crime of the 21st century as it continues to grow across the globe into a lucrative proposition for some, at the cost of causing significant losses for the consumers, industry, society and governments and more so for developing countries (AP)
Smuggling has been termed the crime of the 21st century as it continues to grow across the globe into a lucrative proposition for some, at the cost of causing significant losses for the consumers, industry, society and governments and more so for developing countries (AP)

New Delhi: The magnitude of smuggling and the consequent loss to the country’s economy might become a roadblock in India’s march towards a $40 trillion economy under the government’s vision of Amrit Kaal, a report said.

There is a need to launch a robust international campaign against the menace of smuggling so that major impediment in the growth path is removed, FICCI Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Destroying the Economy (CASCADE) said.

While last year FICCI CASCADE took the initiative to mark 11 February, 2023 as Anti-Smuggling Day, the body is appealing to the Indian government to highlight the issue of smuggling on the world stage and work with the United Nations to declare this as an ‘International Anti-Smuggling Day’.

The significance of the need for a high-impact international campaign against smuggling can be understood in the context of the massive loss that smuggling inflicts on the Indian economy.

As per a 2022 FICCI CASCADE’s study titled - ‘Illicit Markets: A Threat to Our National Interests’, over a period of 10 years, the tax loss to the Government of India because of the illicit trade has jumped by 163% to reach a mammoth 58,521 crore (from Rs. 22,230 crore) for 5 key industries--alcoholic beverages, mobile phones, FMCG-household and personal goods, FMCG-packaged foods and tobacco products.

It further said India should also forge together the interests of similar developing countries such as Indonesia, Brazil and the Philippines which are facing the impact of smuggling. Apart from the UN, India can and should also highlight smuggling in other global platforms like the G20.

“Given the massive damage that smuggling is inflicting on the Indian economy, the government has to take up the issue at the international stage and lead a campaign against it. So far, the government and its enforcement agencies have been doing commendable work to check smuggling into the country. To bolster the present efforts, now different ministries need to come together to highlight the issue on the international stage,” P C Jha, former chairman, CBIC (Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs) and Adviser- FICCI CASCADE said.

“It will highlight the growing hazard of smuggling and create awareness amongst consumers and the youth to mitigate smuggling which has now become an obstacle to nation-building,” Anil Rajput, Chairman, FICCI CASCADE said.

Smuggling has been termed the crime of the 21st century as it continues to grow across the globe into a lucrative proposition for some, at the cost of causing significant losses for the consumers, industry, society and governments and more so for developing countries, it said.

It is upon countries like India that can leverage its global standing to bring out the necessary coordination and collaboration amongst various countries to create awareness, fight and mitigate this global problem that pose serious threat both to security and economy, it added.

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First Published:10 Feb 2023, 05:28 PM IST
HomeNewsIndiaSmuggling could hinder India’s march to $40 trillion economy under Amrit Kaal: Report

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